Representations of Mathematicians in Lower Secondary Mathematics Textbooks
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Centro de Investigacion y de Estudios Avanzados del Instituto Politecnico Nacional, MEXICO
Instituto Politécnico Nacional, CICATA Legaria, MEXICO
Online publication date: 2019-03-29
Publication date: 2019-03-29
EURASIA J. Math., Sci Tech. Ed 2019;15(7):em1716
We report on a study focused on identifying and describing the representations of mathematicians contained in Mexican textbooks of lower secondary level. We considered representations not only in the text but also in drawings, photographs, and illustrations in general. The term mathematician was understood in a broad sense: any person (or group of people) that in the textbook either (1) was explicitly referred to as a mathematician, (2) was credited with the development of a mathematical concept or tool, or (3) was displayed performing some sort of mathematical activity (such as counting, modelling, etc.). The results show that the representations that most frequently appear in the textbooks are white male mathematicians (mainly Europeans), who lived in ancient times; the representations of female mathematicians are almost nil. At the end of the paper the implications of these results are discussed, and some directions for future research are suggested.
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